Archive for March 17th, 2010

Doin’ the Little Schmuck Trot

Wednesday, March 17th, 2010

Do you do the Schmuck Trot? You know, that little two or three step symbolic run across the road when a driver stops and signals you to cross? It’s usually accompanied by a nod, smile, or wave – and, since it’s only symbolic, it doesn’t hurry things up at all – but it’s kind of nice – and polite.

When I drive and stop for pedestrians when I don’t have to, I’m a little embarrassed to admit I like them to do the schmuck trot. I think of it as a little, visual ‘thank you’ – an acknowlegment of my ‘right-of-way’ sacrifice and generosity.

Of course, not everyone is appropriately grateful. Old people seem to take it for granted that you’re going to stop and can get positively snarly if you rev the engine a bit to hurry them along. Teenagers would rather be caught listening to Lawrence Welk than do the Schmuck Trot. They glare at you and almost DEMAND to be run over! One of these days they’re going to play that game with some maniac who’s just been told he’s got ‘don’t buy green bananas’ cancer and the last thing they’ll do on this earth is kiss the tread grooves of a speeding tire.

The worst? People from California. In their state, if a couple of clueless moonbeams is discussing the joy of soy and steps off the curb – cars are legally required to slam on their brakes and let them cross. But this is New York! I wonder how many thousands of Left Coasters’ final thoughts were “But he was SUPPOSED to stop!” I know I can personally take credit for at least a half dozen near misses. I heart New York!


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